The impact of a car accident can create tremendous forces, all of which have the potential to cause serious damage to our bodies. Car accidents lend themselves to a number of common injuries that result from these forces. All of the following injuries are likely consequences of any major crash.
Head and Brain Injuries
Injuries to the head and brain can have lasting effects and take many months to heal. Some cranial injuries lead to permanent side effects, such as diminished balance. According to the CDC, car accidents are the second-leading cause of traumatic brain injury (TBI), accounting for one out of every five TBI-related hospitalizations.
Back and Chest Injuries
Our spine and sensitive rib cage are exposed during serious car collisions, especially when airbags are deployed. These injuries can lead to herniated disks and other spinal damage. Broken ribs are also extremely common after a car crash.
Our upper spine carries a large amount of weight. The average skull weighs around 10 lbs. In an accident, the force of a crash can cause damage to soft tissues in what is known as a “whiplash” injury. Accident victims may also have spinal or nerve tissue damage that leads to painful side effects.
Broken and Fractured Bones
Broken bones take months to completely heal. In the meantime, the accident victim must endure a painful recovery and sometimes costly procedures to ensure the bone knits together properly. Major bones, such as femurs, can also be broken in a car crash, risking secondary infections and other complications.
Our vital organs are protected by a relatively thin layer of fat and muscle. Car accidents can cause damage to these areas through cuts and piercing debris, but internal injuries can also result from the sheer brute force of an impact.
Cuts, Scrapes, & Bruises
In addition to major, life-threatening injuries, a car accident victim is likely to have a number of other cuts (lacerations), scrapes (abrasions), and bruises (contusions). Victims may need stitches or possibly even surgery, such as skin grafts, depending on the severity of the injury.
Even if you do not feel hurt, you could have any of the above injuries after a car accident. Internal bleeding, hernias, perforations, and other serious medical conditions can take days to show symptoms, which is why it’s always important to receive a full medical evaluation.